If you have been coming to the blog for a while, you definitely recognize the name Foxconn. The infamous manufacturer of popular Apple products has certainly had its share of bad publicity.
For those that don’t recall, Foxconn has made the headlines multiple times over the last couple of years due to its poor working conditions. This time they aren’t garnering attention for worker suicides, they’re in the spotlight because they’re looking to make a very public move to Brazil…
Reuters reported yesterday that Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff and her government are studying an investment plan from Foxconn. The iPhone manufacturer is currently based in Shenzhen in southern China, but is looking to expand into Brazil for several reasons.
The biggest reason would be to appease their largest client, Apple. The Cupertino company has been at odds with the country for quite some time due to its import tariffs. For example, Apple’s most basic iPad is $499 in the U.S. and costs $860 in Brazil. Steve Jobs commented on the tax barriers in an email response to an invitation to open an Apple store in Rio de Janeiro:
“We can’t even export our products because of Brazil’s crazy politics of high taxation. That makes investing in the country very unattractive. Many high tech companies feel this way.”
A Foxconn move to Brazil would obviously bypass the import taxations because the product would be manufactured within the country. This would give Apple access to the gadget hungry in South America who have been neglected by many tech companies, due to the country’s tariff policies.
Although negotiations are still to be done regarding the location of the facilities and what not, both parties are confident that a deal will be reached. Foxconn hopes that their operations in Brazil will go live in November of this year.
While the general public may not care about the manufacturer’s move to Brazil, folks with interests invested in Apple’s success are grinning from ear to ear. With South America about to open up and 25 more Apple stores planned for China in the next few months, Apple’s forecast seems to be looking brighter than ever.
What do you think?